Let’s go for a bit of a run…

A few years ago a friend of mine asked me to run a half marathon (13.1 miles) with him. He gave me about a month to prepare. We did it, and just barely finished under the time limit. A couple years ago, I completed a mountain marathon, climbing 5 mountains to complete the 26.2 miles. I would like to do that one again, but the timing hasn’t been right.

I had thought that I would get back in shape this summer. I even purchased a family pass to the amazing Kingdom Trails, which are almost in our backyard. However, I never built back up my running stamina. I wanted to do the Wicked Muddy Mainer, but Covid got in the way of that – hopefully in 2021! I do better at Obstacle Course Racing than straight running, it’s more fun!

This fall I coached elementary cross country running. It was a little different due to Covid, but still good. The biggest challenge for me was finding activities challenging enough for the ones who wanted to run, and not completely horrible for the kiddos there for after-school care. I did not excel at that, but I tried. We didn’t have normal races because of Covid. We scheduled 3 races within the district instead, and one of those had to be cancelled also. Hopefully, we all had fun anyway.

So passive goals aren’t going to work for me, I need an actual deadline. Lo and behold, a friend posted on Facebook about the Northeast Kingdom Half and Full Marathon happening locally next May. Even better, it would be free! I signed up.

The goal of the sponsors is that participants and their people will spend their money in and around town at local businesses instead of on race fees. The medals are available for sale through The Hearth and Home Country Store. There are clothing items too, and probably more as we get closer to the actual event.

the wooden medal showing the state of Vermont and the words "Northeast Kingdom Marathon 13.1/26.2   Island Pond, VT    May 1, 2021"
wooden medals for the Northeast Kingdom Marathon

The race’s Facebook page says, The Northeast Kingdom Marathon, by Brighton Recreation, is a FREE USATF certified self-supported half/full marathon designed to support Island Pond – a small former railroad town nestled deep within the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  Following the lead of the innovative Millinocket Marathon – runners who participate are asked to be generous and support the Island Pond community and surrounding region in every way possible! (https://www.facebook.com/NortheastKingdomMarathon/?ref=page_internal). 

So, I need to actually get in shape. My first goal then is to be able to do a 5k (3.1 miles) without feeling like I’m dying. I have a couple virtual ones I’m signed up for. That’s my goal for November. One per weekend sounds doable, with my times improving. 

My greatest challenges with this would be the actual going out and exercising (it’s cold and that takes effort – lol) and the weather. Actually running on snow and ice is not fun. Indoor options are a bit limited due to Covid. We could add in the other minor challenge that I prefer trail running, and we are full in hunting season right now – not a great time to be in the woods.

What are your suggestions? How do you train in the winter when outside is not an option and neither are public gyms? What is your best tip to train for a marathon?

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